SSI Reconsideration vs SSDI Disability Reconsideration

Note: Visit this page for more information on reconsiderations for SSD and SSI claims.

Someone asked this question in a forum: Is an SSI reconsideration easier than an SSD (Social Security Disability) reconsideration?

The questioner had prefaced this remark by stating that she had recently been denied on a request for reconsideration for her Social Security Disability claim. She found herself wondering if she should have filed for SSI instead.

When I read this, I wanted to set the record straight on a couple of issues that, obviously, this individual did not understand.

1. There is no difference between a reconsideration that has been filed on an SSI case and a reconsideration that has been filed on an SSD case. In fact, there is no difference between an SSD or an SSI case. For all intents and purposes, a disability case is a disability case.

Whether or not an approved claimant's benefits will be drawn from the Social Security Disability or SSI disability program is completely separate and does not affect how a case is decided by either a disability examiner or a disability judge at a social security hearing.

Note: individuals who qualify for disability receive SSI when they do not have current insured status for SSDI (Social Security Disability insurance). Sometimes this will be because the individual did not work long enough to become insured for SSDI or because, due to a long break in work, the person lost their coverage for SSDI.

When that happens, a person will have what is known as a DLI, or date last insured and this will mean that to get Social Security Disability the onset date for the person's disabling condition will have to be proven to exist prior to the DLI, or last date of coverage for Social Security Disability. If this cannot be proven, the only option will be SSI disability.

2. You don't get to choose between filing for disability in the SSI program versus filing for disability in the SSD program. Claimants contact social security and announce their intention to apply for disability. After that, the social security administration will determine (this is actually determined by the claims rep who takes the disability application) whether or not the claimant can file for Social Security Disability or SSI, or both; many claimants will have a concurrent claim taken, meaning their application will be taken in both programs, though they will be processed as if there was only one application.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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